Parade banned – public yawns…

NEWTON Emerson makes a strongly-worded case against Sir Reg Empey’s decision to pick the wrong battle to launch his leadership on – parades. Thérèse McKenna hops on a high horse in today’s Irish News and suggests Newt’s article is a horribly offensive diatribe that grossly over-generalises in its satirisation of the downtrodden Ulster underclass. It is, Thérèse. That’s why, even though both articles raise serious points, his is funny too.

But is ordering journalists to “lay off” the rioting spides and telling the media that “parades should not be so high on the news agenda” dealing with reality (or any less high-handed than Emerson) – particularly when your own column is on the other side of a front page lead which talks of “fears” of a potential loyalist feud? But to single out any media outlet would be unfair. Fear and violence sells newspapers, which is why Thérèse is on a loser from the outset.

In addition, there has been precious little coverage of Drumcree recently, for the simple reason that we’re all bored to tears of it and it had lost its momentum. This morning, only Daily Ireland splashed with parades news (headline: Parade decision heightens fears). Like Orlaith McAllister’s tits, parades here have suffered from over-exposure in the media, and inevitably, what was once seen as sexy will appear mundane once the audience’s attention shifts to the next big thing. The backlash has started – if the parades issue was indeed built up with hype, maybe it can be knocked down by ignoring it.

But is all this really the “reckless approach” to reporting parades issues to which Thérèse refers? She writes:

Stories of what might happen, what hasn’t happened, what ought to happen and what won’t happen clutter column inches, serving to build tension and create a climate of fear and foreboding.

More nefarious, however, are opinion pieces that demonise and denigrate those whom we don’t understand. Stand up Newton Emerson, for last week’s tirade was beyond mischief.

A thousand curses with the alliterative force of bullets were rained down on “the dregs of society”, “our over-indulged under-class” who like to march and drink and annoy and wave their flags. Loyalist women were painted as cows in an extended metaphor that sneered at the common fashion for a cheap tan. Obesity – not a problem for people of class – was used as a stick with which to beat the men. Newton willed them all to go back home to their widescreen TVs (a dig at the desire for instant gratification of those who can’t see much of a future) and cease sullying his landscape.

Too easy. Much too easy to laugh at the most abandoned, most cheated and misled, most socially deprived people in the north. And just as the grumbling US liberal press loudly mocking the Bush-voting majority will not win over a single red-state heart, moderates in Northern Ireland shouting “ya boo sucks” at those on the swollen extremes only push us further apart.

Surely it would be more useful to seek the whys and wherefores, to conceive of root causes why July is a month for many to act out?

Maybe even to go for those directing the chaos, those who wish to keep their own in misery because appetites for violence will be slim if you plant the seeds of education, culture and pride.

Or aim higher – question the need for a glut of wasteful warehouse conversions for designer living on Easy Street when working-class loyalist areas are crumbling under the weight of ‘we don’t care’.

Or even dig deeper, wonder perhaps how fascists can daub graffiti on a wall in south Belfast and how it can stay up, bold as brass in foot-high letters, for more than a year. Graffiti that is word for word the ‘14 words’ motto of dangerous Iowan white supremacist David Lane. Word for word, only with ‘Protestant’ substituted for ‘white’. “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for Protestant children”.

Sounds reasonable but is, in fact, a right-wing call to arms.

Go for these people, don’t label a bunch of kids with little to do and nowhere to go. When you label people you curse them.

The labelled absorbs the myth, embraces the stigma and is set on to a spiral of self-loathing that perpetuates the problems you have tarred them with. So lay off.

While it would be interesting to see how those loyalist kids would respond to an Irish News columnist called Thérèse, it would be even more enlightening to read Mr Emerson’s own thoughts on the matter.

  • DCB

    She starts of by having a knock at Newton for labelling people and then goes on to compare loyalists to US white supremists.

    I think it boils down to individual responsibility, if you think that individuals are responsible and accountable for their actions then you’ll be less inclined to make excuses for our local culture. If you don’t then you’ll see it as the manifestations of an evil capitalist society.

  • Waitnsee

    Agreed, DCB – a really rubbish article that patronises the very people she accuses Newt of offending. When will the people of this country realise that it’s not being poor that makes you a bigot – it’s being bigoted that makes you a bigot.

  • Enniskillen DUP

    DCB,

    Was it not the white supremists who attacked black marchers in the deep south??
    It is the same ignorance that those racists showed towards difference as is shown to protestants in North+West Belfast.

    There is no difference between the violent actions of white racists in the 60’s and the racist(anti-british) thugs in ardoyne.

    Perhaps that is why the so-called protestors were calling the marchers “black b@stards”…

  • slug9987

    I only read the first sentence of Emersons stuff – it seemed snobbish so I stopped. Too cheap and snobby I thought.

  • Ginfizz

    Newton Emerson’s article was a disgraceful and prejudiced rant. The Irish News might well counter by stating that Emerson’s community background is Protestant. To my mind that is irrelevant – if he had been talking about any other group in society there would have been an outcry, but when it’s Orangemen and their supporters get stuck right in.

    It doesn’t take much imagination or creativity to slag off the OO on the pages of a nationalist newspaper, on this score pleasing the readership is like shooting fish in a barrell.

  • TAFKABO

    Myself and a few other posters made comment on Newts tendency to attack easy targets, only to see our posts removed with no reason given.

    Is there any point in posting those opinions again?

  • Ginfizz

    Then of course, Mr. Emerson is the living embodiment of new Ulster Unionism – a group that utter loathes the people it wants to respresent.

  • Ginfizz

    Then of course, Mr. Emerson is the living embodiment of new Ulster Unionism – a group that utterly loathes the people it wants to respresent.

  • Waitnsee

    “question the need for a glut of wasteful warehouse conversions for designer living on Easy Street”

    – reverse snobbery? And cliched reverse snobbery at that. I don’t see the working class mentioned anywhere in Emerson’s article.

  • Ginfizz

    Waitnsee

    It was clear what section of society the Portadown Nonsense Editor was singling out.

  • slug9987@hotmail.com

    Yeah, I feel uncomfortable with that degree of blatant snobbery. This para was as far as I got:

    “Today no grubby uniform can hide their ill-bred squalor. Dishevelled, drunk and disgustingly overweight they stagger by like some ridiculous Ruritanian home-guard summoned straight from their beds. Then come the tone-deaf and dumb loyalist bands, all angry scowls and futile bravado, followed by the hideous denouement – the female hangers on, that most poisonous of all the wells of human misery, their thick hides tanned like cheap brown leather, their thin faces twisted by animal hatreds and animal lusts. How I quietly seethe to think that they expect my support, even as they stop me going to work to support them. How I wish they would all crawl back to their dirty little houses, switch on their wide-screen televisions and resume the slack-jawed lard-induced trance that passes for their everyday existence. As for the sham-fight encounters with their tribal opposite numbers, why should that sicken my mood on one single summer’s day? “

    Well. To use Emerson’s language, I was too well brought up to write something like that. It is just horrible gratuitous snobbery. He thinks that because he is a ‘prod’ criticising other ‘prods’ that its good stuff. There is no argument being presented above, just ugly social snobbery. Arguments would be better.

  • Waitnsee

    Yes it was – and only a middle-class person would confuse them with the working class. The OO hasn’t been a working class organisation in years. It’s just an excuse for a piss-up and a punch-up.

  • TAFKABO

    It is more than a little ironic to see Newts article hailed as making a stongly worded case, since it seems to be full of the type of rhetoric and language that Slugger frowns upon.

    Is describing people as fat and ugly not man (or woman)playing?

    Can I reply to his article by describing Newt as a skinny bespectacled runt?

  • Waitnsee

    Slug, I reckon the reason that description of an OO parade strikes you as too close to the bone is because it’s clearly too close to the truth.

  • slug9987@hotmail.com

    “Slug, I reckon the reason that description of an OO parade strikes you as too close to the bone is because it’s clearly too close to the truth.”

    Haven’t seen an OO parade for a long time and I have no connection to them. If you strip through the rudeness the point may be that there is drunkenness and a lack of musical talent and care for appearance. That would be a pity and certainly something to point out that they could work on as an area for development. Honestly though what is the relevance of the references to obesity and TVs and the like and the blatant abuse words in the language? Its just rude regardless of the target.

  • Regal Pass DUP

    If some of Newton’s comments had been made by anyone else on a thread he would almost certainly have recieved a card (yellow or red).

    In the words of Mick Fealty this was truly a

    “Man not Ball comment”

    Shame on you Newton. You respectability has seriously deminished.

  • Portadown News Editor

    When the Irish News told me one of its standby columnists was going to reply to last Thursday’s piece I was looking forward to it – so you can imagine my disappointment at reading Therese McKenna’s inane splutterings on Tuesday morning. She might as well have written: “But you can’t say that!” 900 times then hit ‘Send’. It is typical of the local left-wing 60-watt intellectual mentality to respond to anything they don’t like with a pious little lecture on the responsibilities of the press. What about the responsibilities of the individual? Does Therese believe that being ‘socially deprived’ deprives people of free will? Intelligence? The ability to tell right from wrong? Surely this is the insult?
    A few figures might clear up the matter:
    Population of Ardoyne: 6,400
    Usual number of rioters at the Ardoyne shops at any given excuse: 200
    (And I’m only picking that example because I know the figures.)
    By claiming that social deprivation causes people to act like morons, Therese insults the 6,200 people of Ardoyne who don’t – while also providing a handy excuse for those who just happen to enjoy chucking bricks across the Crumlin Road or can’t be arsed raising their kids properly.
    For the past 30 years money and attention has rained down on such people, more so perhaps than anywhere else on earth. It hasn’t worked. It has, of course, worked out very well for the class of people Therese represents – but that’s all. How much more failure and chaos does she expect us to ignore so that the Women’s Coalition can all get nice jobs on Community Projects?

    As for attacking safe targets in a nationalist newspaper, I am conscious of the last problem at least – but much as I would have liked my article to appear in the News Letter I don’t work for the News Letter so my options, when I have an opinion like this, are either to keep it to myself for fear of appearing a ‘lundy’ or to publish and be damned because Irish News readers at least should know where I’m coming from by now. Should I avoid all criticism of ‘my side’ because I’m writing in ‘their’ paper? I think that would be pathetic.

    I’m also surprised that TAFKABO (The Artist Formerly Known as Billy Orange, I believe…) would accuse me of attacking easy targets. One man’s ‘easy targets’ are this man’s next-door-neighbours.

    Finally, may I say how delighted I am to see so many DUP and Orange Order supporters react with outrage to personal insults against the nature of their gormless storm-troopers. Perhaps we will now hear the last of the expressions ‘dirty fenian’, ‘lazy fenian’ and ‘scrounging fenian’???

  • Portadown News Editor

    When the Irish News told me one of its standby columnists was going to reply to last Thursday’s piece I was looking forward to it – so you can imagine my disappointment at reading Therese McKenna’s inane splutterings on Tuesday morning. She might as well have written: “But you can’t say that!” 900 times then hit ‘Send’. It is typical of the local left-wing 60-watt intellectual mentality to respond to anything they don’t like with a pious little lecture on the responsibilities of the press. What about the responsibilities of the individual? Does Therese believe that being ‘socially deprived’ deprives people of free will? Intelligence? The ability to tell right from wrong? Surely this is the insult?
    A few figures might clear up the matter:
    Population of Ardoyne: 6,400
    Usual number of rioters at the Ardoyne shops at any given excuse: 200
    (And I’m only picking that example because I know the figures.)
    By claiming that social deprivation causes people to act like morons, Therese insults the 6,200 people of Ardoyne who don’t – while also providing a handy excuse for those who just happen to enjoy chucking bricks across the Crumlin Road or can’t be arsed raising their kids properly.
    For the past 30 years money and attention has rained down on such people, more so perhaps than anywhere else on earth. It hasn’t worked. It has, of course, worked out very well for the class of people Therese represents – but that’s all. How much more failure and chaos does she expect us to ignore so that the Women’s Coalition can all get nice jobs on Community Projects?

    As for attacking safe targets in a nationalist newspaper, I am conscious of the last problem at least – but much as I would have liked my article to appear in the News Letter I don’t work for the News Letter so my options, when I have an opinion like this, are either to keep it to myself for fear of appearing a ‘lundy’ or to publish and be damned because Irish News readers at least should know where I’m coming from by now. Should I avoid all criticism of ‘my side’ because I’m writing in ‘their’ paper? I think that would be pathetic.

    I’m also surprised that TAFKABO (The Artist Formerly Known as Billy Orange, I believe…) would accuse me of attacking easy targets. One man’s ‘easy targets’ are this man’s next-door-neighbours.

    Finally, may I say how delighted I am to see so many DUP and Orange Order supporters react with outrage to personal insults against the nature of their gormless storm-troopers. Perhaps we will now hear the last of the expressions ‘dirty fenian’, ‘lazy fenian’ and ‘scrounging fenian’???

  • Peter Fallon

    Is Therese McKenna on work experience from a Media Studies GCSE class?!
    Without question the worst written opinion piece I have ever read in a newspaper.
    Hackneyed, cliched, sickeningly patronising.
    Not bad in way which makes you want to read her again out of intrigue, just f*cking AWFUL.
    Who is this imbecile?!
    I don’t agree with Emerson’s piece but at least it was amusing and he seems like an erudite, literate sorta guy.
    This is just nonsense.
    Hang on…was it a piss take?
    Please tell me yes.

  • DCB

    We all know that there is in some country areas an OO made up of nice old harmless men, but the reality in Belfast is often closer to what Newton describes.

    Of course there’s more to the OO than this but its a major side of it.

    Seems to be a huge sense of humour failure from a lot of posters. And the MOPERY of some is amusing – comparing the poor wee put upon OO to the blacks in America and them fenians to white supremists – got to love NI

    He exaggerated his article in a way that reminds me of Kevin Myers. I mean the comparison as a complement and like with Myers a lot of people have been wound up. Like there often is with Myers (though by no means always) there is beneath the hyperbole an important grain of truth.

  • slug9987@hotmail.com

    “Should I avoid all criticism of ‘my side’ because I’m writing in ‘their’ paper? I think that would be pathetic.”

    Indeed. Criticism of own side is a good thing. But the paragraph I quoted (which is as far as I got) is not criticism of your own side. Its just rather ugly and gratuitous snobbishnses.

    “Finally, may I say how delighted I am to see so many DUP and Orange Order supporters react with outrage to personal insults against the nature of their gormless storm-troopers.”

    Yeah yeah, but I am not orange. In fact I have no connection to the OO whatsoever, and am critical of the OO as an organization. I like to see NI protestants criticising the OO. But I dislike ugly snobbery. I only saw snobbery here, Newt. That’s not criticising your own side, its just snobbery. It meant I didn’t get beyond that paragraph.

  • Ginfizz

    Newton Emerson – one of Trimble’s “decent people” – i.e. a Unionist who loathes the traditions of the Unionist community and its culture as well.

  • Newton Emerson

    I make no apology for feeling superior in the presence of Orangemen. It’s a feeling they’ve worked damn hard to justify.

  • Ginfizz

    No Newton, your own smug sense of superiority and tendency to disappear up your own backside says more about you than it does anyone else.

  • TAFKABO

    “I’m also surprised that TAFKABO (The Artist Formerly Known as Billy Orange, I believe…) would accuse me of attacking easy targets. One man’s ‘easy targets’ are this man’s next-door-neighbours.”

    Not quite sure I know what you mean with that comment Newt.
    I don’t particulary care for the Orange Order, or the marchers myself, but I can think of better arguments aginst them than their lack of physical beauty.
    And I don’t want to sound patronising, but I think that you can as well.

  • Newton Emerson

    Once again, guilty as charged – I certainly do feel superior to the recreationally rioting classes and will continue to do so until they stop recreationally rioting.

  • slug9987

    Newt – it came across as clas snobbery to me not anti-OO or anti-rioter. However I did only read that paragraph.

  • Ginfizz

    You can feel superior to however you want, if that rocks your boat, fair enough, I think its rather tragic that you can only estimate your own worth by ridiculing other people. Do you have an inferiority complex, hence your need to attack people in order to puff up your own ego? Self-loathing must be an awful thing, especially when confronted by people who although less well-off than you have a stronger sense of community and love of their culture than you ever will.

  • Denny Boy

    Perhaps Newton’s criticism should have been directed at Reg Empey’s sense of what constitutes a priority.

    In his maiden speech he promised to put parades at the top of his agenda. Parades.

    So much for the OAPs who no longer feel safe in their homes. (Note to Reg: You’ll be an OAP too soon enough.)

    So much for domestic violence, a blight on the province of Ulster and grounds for the deepest shame.

    So much for child rape and other forms of molestation, by no means confined to paedophile priests.

    So much for a new lawlessness that has seen just two (I believe ) ASBOs been handed out.

    So much for all the league tables topped by Northern Ireland because of its ill health and unhealthy lifestyles. Talk to the doctors, Reg.

    So much for…

    But I’m not a politician and party leader. Reg knows all this stuff. It’s simply that he lacks the political will to tackle it. Parades, that’s where the votes are.

    When was the last time we heard a senior American congressman promising to place the annual Fourth of July parades at the top of his list of priorities?

    And let’s not even mention the rest of the world beyond the Atlantic and Irish Sea. Reg won’t either.

  • fair_deal

    Newt demonises, Therese pities, neither has value. It was quipped that on the mainland the one group everyone is allowed to look down and caricature negatively is the white working class, in Ulster the same is true except you add the word Protestant.

    Orangeism is not perfect neither is the Protestant working class, legitimate criticism is valid. However, there is a line between criticism and demonisation and that line has been well and truly crossed in the past few years.

  • Newton Emerson

    DUP pop-psychology?
    The Reverend Doctor will not be amused.

    It is interesting that Ginnfiz has also been unable to resist mentioning David Trimble in this thread. Hasn’t he heard? Trimble the boogey-man is gone – an outcome I’ve been looking forward to in print for three years (it’s embarrassing really, my critics never read my articles.) This article was, by the way, an attack on the new UUP leadership. But no matter – because what matters to the DUP is that people like me aren’t supposed to exist. When we stick our heads up above the parapet we must be shouted back down again as stuck-up self-loathing traitors – an appropriation of the royal perogative which presumably makes Paisley the queen. (No Paul Berry jokes please).

    Paisleyism was always first and foremost an attack on other unionists and it is noticeable that electoral victory has only made this worse. They can’t beat the Shinners – but boy can they hammer the UUP into the ground. Trouble is, soon the UUP will be gone too.

    Then what?

  • Ginfizz

    Newton

    The article might well have been an attack upon Empey on one level – but on another it was a vindictive and offensive rant against an entire community. If you had any decencey you would apoligise – but you won’t becuase you’re “superior” to the rest of us – your word not mine.

    BTW, when did the OO become the foor-soldiers of “Paisleyism”? Up until six months ago the OO was represented on the Ulster Unionist Council?

  • Newton Emerson

    An entire community, Ginnfiz? Do Orangemen constitute the entire unionist community? And since when did the DUP worry about such namby-pamby concepts as ‘offence’?

  • Denny Boy

    ‘BTW, when did the OO become the foor-soldiers of “Paisleyism”? Up until six months ago the OO was represented on the Ulster Unionist Council?’

    Surely the DUP is the natural home of orangeism. Only reason the two weren’t joined at the hip is that up until recently the UUP’s star and not the DUP’s was in the ascendant.

    And isn’t ascendancy what it was always about in Northern Ireland, right from its inception?

  • Ginfizz

    Newton

    Fine. A significant section of the Unionist community. If your drivel had been deriding any other Section 75 group an apology would be demanded, but when its working-class Protestants you just get stuck in. The article was worthy of North Korean State Television, and may in my view constitute incitement to hatred.

  • Ginfizz

    No answer to the question I note.

  • Ginfizz

    Denny

    The Orange Order has sensibly taken the view that it does not want to be affiliated to any political party.

  • Newton Emerson

    The rather disingenuous question about OO involvement in the UUC is, again, one of those things that proves you don’t read anything I write – because I’ve been complaining about that (and Trimble’s specific gutlessness and opportunism over the whole issue) for as long as I’ve been writing in the papers. In fact it was one of the very first things I ever wrote about. Please don’t ask me to quote myself. It’s a bit masturbatory. Please don’t mistake me for a UUP drone either – I’ve always made it clear that voting for them, for me, was a case of holding my nose and picking the lesser of two evils and that lately it hasn’t even been worth the bother.

    Suffice it to say that the UUC finally reformed itself only when the Orange Order demanded action itself because it was so painfully obvious that the DUP was their natural home. As a resident of Portadown I stand by the assertion that the Orange dregs are the footsoldiers of Paisleyism – I only have to look out of my window at this time of year to prove it.

  • Newton Emerson

    PS: DUP man in Section 75 whinge shock!!!!

    What next for you guys, eh? Tea and scones with Monica McWilliams?

  • Denny Boy

    “The Orange Order has sensibly taken the view that it does not want to be affiliated to any political party.”

    What?!! The OO is thinking sensibly? They’re calling off all those silly marches and instead espousing culture (books, theatre, music etc)?

  • Ginfizz

    So other than your own sneering prejudicial snobbery, you have no evidence to prove your assertion? As far as I was aware most of the senior leadership of the OO in Armagh are card-carrying members of the UUP – this may have changed recently, but I doubt it.

    BTW, the only person to mention the DUP on this thread was you – yet again Newton your pathological hatred of the Democratic Unionists is clouding your judgement and “superior” intellect.

  • fair_deal

    The equality and human rights agenda are for everyone Newton.

  • Ginfizz

    I know – imagine an ignorant working class Prod knowing anything about Section 75!

    What next? Ex-Mortel programmers will be protesting their better than everyone else!

  • Denny Boy

    “The equality and human rights agenda are for everyone Newton.”

    Yes, Newton, shame on you! The OO have the right to be as equally bigoted as any DUP member, and the right to walk in those places where they can be of most annoyance.

  • Ginfizz

    Nortel

  • Newton Emerson

    Ho hum. As I’ve just said, I’m well aware of the UUP’s many, many links to the Orange Order and I’ve long been opposed to them.

    I doubt there’s a single Orangeman in Portadown who votes UUP though – including the UUP Orangemen themselves, who seem to enjoy standing as ‘Independents’ whenever it comes to election time.

    But perhaps it was too general of me to say the Orange dregs are the footsoldiers of Paisleyism. In fact, as we all know, the UDA are the crack footsoldiers of Paisleyism. Too bad that LVF link didn’t work out, eh?

  • DCB

    FD

    Yes they are needed for everyone, but they can be abused by MOPEing over them – and by either side too.

  • Ginfizz

    Newton

    Oh aye right enough, this was the plan to destablise the Agreement, which was hatched more that two years before the agreement was signed. What a load of crap!

    Sorry Newton, but the only party that sits on the Loyalist Commission, that relied on the votes of terrorist-linked parties to see Trimble elected First Minister, that appointed Gary McMicheal to the Civic Forum and that was openly courting Ervine was the party that you put your X beside.

    Think before you start throwing mud.

  • Ginfizz

    PS. The same party has Frank McCoubrey in its city hall grouping. What was that about the UDA?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Fine piece Newt. What is the complaint? Feeling superior to the dregs of society? Anyone who does not displays lamentable poverty of ambition. I’ve no tolerance for inverse snobbery (surely the archetypal bourgeois fetish). It is worth remembering that however well represented the proletariat are amongst the perpetrators of this behaviour, they are also overwhelmingly its victims. Besides, if the author will forgive my interpretation, the piece struck me primarily as an attack not so much on the rioters themselves (who may at least be assumed to derive some perverse gratification from their hobby) but for those such as Empey who pander to them.

  • slug9987

    Where I would agree with the spirit of Newt’s comments (putting aside any snobbery that I detected) is that the OO need to clean up and create a more positive image. If there is to be a carnival festival type atmosphere at 12ths and making it a really fun family day out (as is surely the future) then any drunkenness and yobbishness needs to be dealt with. There are currently too many negatives associated with 12ths. Whether that description of Newt is unfair or not, it is the case that there are a lot of negatives associated with 12ths in many peoples eyes.

  • Newton Emerson

    Well of course the DUP opposed David Ervine – his UVF faction was pro-agreement. That’s why Willie McCrea had to cosy up to the LVF and, when that didn’t work out, the UDA links had to be re-established.

    Once again, while I realise you are enjoying the idea of having a UUP proxy to lambast, I’m not your man. I’ve had more of a go at the UUP in my time than I’ve had at the DUP – because, naively, I expected better of them. Could I ask you again not to force me to repeat myself?

  • Anthony O’Biter

    Newton’s article was quality.

    It was a deserved, and very funny, attack on the perceived superiority of individuals who abuse the right of free speech to promote hatred and intolerance.

    Any attempt to legitimise or excuse their behaviour on grounds of class ignores the fact that these people are individually responsible for their actions.

    I read Theresa McKenna’s article last night and was appalled at her analysis of the situation. Even if I were to accept that Newton’s target was the Northern Ireland underclass, I do not accept her contention that it is wrong to criticise their opinions or beliefs; these are the very people who attitudes, beliefs and opinions should be questioned and challenged head on if we are to move forward.

  • slug9987

    “these are the very people who attitudes, beliefs and opinions should be questioned and challenged head on if we are to move forward.”

    My problem was with the very snobbish tone in the second (or third) paragraph – about obesity and flat screen tvs etc.

  • Ginfizz

    OK Newt. I think you’ll find that when it comes to cosying up to paramilitaries, the Ulster Unionists have a blacker record than any other party bar the Provos.

  • Denny Boy

    “…it is the case that there are a lot of negatives associated with 12ths in many peoples eyes.”

    Bit of an understatement? The 12th celebrates death and bloodshed; no getting around that. How does one make of such a celebration a “family day out”?

    Unless it’s the Addam’s family? No pun intended – I think :0)

  • Ginfizz

    You’ve been asked before to produce names, places and dates for the meetings when this alliance between the DUP and paramilitaries was supposedly formed.

    The one name and one date you could muster was McCrea and the rally in Portadown with Wright. Anything more substantive? No? I wonder why? Coulc it be becuase it’s easy to through around accusations about an organisation – i.e. the DUP, but if you named names you’d find you’d get your sorry ass sued?

  • Ginfizz

    throw around. sorry

  • Ginfizz

    Denny Boy

    “death and bloodshed”?

    So does July Fourth and July Fourteenth in France – should they be banned also?

  • Newton Emerson

    Would that be another DUP legal threat? They don’t carry the weight they used to I’m afraid.

    I’ve written at length about the DUP’s well-documented links to paramilitarism down the years – look it up in Newshound. But if you’re really anxious for examples here’s a very pertinent one to start you off: Willie McCrea’s high-profile presence at the funeral of the Miama Showband massacres.

    Spot the pattern?

  • slug9987

    “The 12th celebrates death and bloodshed; no getting around that. How does one make of such a celebration a “family day out”?

    Denny this is quite a good example of where the OO need to have a think about how they’re percieved. I never thought of the 12th in these terms. I thought of it as being about individual liberty winning out over despotic autarchs – both religious (protestantism) and civil (parliamentary democracy). This is certainly a grand thing to celebrate! Unfortunately there is a ways to go before that is the message that is brought to mind.

  • Jacko

    Newt’s article, to me, was a little class-related, but the man can write, he’s funny and often, again for me, hits the nail right on the head.
    Should he apologise?
    Like hell he should!

    To misquote entirely Oscar Wilde, only if it was badly written should he apologise.
    And it wasn’t.
    I think his writing has really matured over this past year or so.

    BTW, I also feel superior to some of the scum who masquerade as Ireland’s or Ulster’s last hope.

  • Denny Boy

    I can’t be the first person to point out that America’s annual celebration of her independence does not as a rule involve the burning of Union Jacks or triumphalist jibes and gestures at the expense of the British nation. It marginalizes no section of the US community.

    Likewise the 14th July is not celebrated with marches past the homes of the French aristocracy and burnings in effigy. It’s an inclusive celebration.

    Somebody mentioned carnival. Why not discard the 12th entirely and celebrate carnival instead? Or would that be too inclusive for the bigots?

  • slug9987

    Good points Denny. I think those indeed seem good areas for development.

  • TAFKABO

    “but the man can write, he’s funny and often, again for me, hits the nail right on the head.”

    I absolutely agree.

    Despite my criticisms on this and other threads,I am an avid reader of most of the stuff Newt comes out with, and it wouldn’t be he first time I have cut and pasted his words for ammunition in other fora.

    But the problem I have with this article is also similar to the problems I had with the issue of TPDN devoted entirely to Paul Berry.
    It was so over the top that it detracted from any valid points it had to make.

    Of course their is a place for satirising and attacking the baser elements of parade culture, but when someone applys as much venom and pure hatred as I feel Newt has done in the above article, then I am just turned off by anything he has to say.

  • TAFKABO

    s/b there.

    Get and edit function Mick

    (or do you just expect us to learn how to read and write properly?)

  • Newton Emerson

    Perhaps, TAFKABO, perhaps. It’s a pity to see the point of the article (i.e. Sir Reg has fluffed it on day one) lost in outrage over a little local colour.

    Still, I can’t forget the last words my great-grandfather ever heard: “You’ll never get the hun without going over the top.”

  • martin

    The link to the Corrib 5 thread is severed

  • slug9987

    Newt

    “It’s a pity to see the point of the article (i.e. Sir Reg has fluffed it on day one) lost in outrage over a little local colour.”

    I would agree with the point. I mean compare Trimbles day one (roughly): meeting DeRossa. Excellent. The message: Trimble can deal with those who leave terrorism clearly behind.

    Empey day one: meets Orange Order. Message: um don’t quite know myself.

    Anyway Newton, I didn’t get to your point, because I gave up after reading gratuitous insults towards low-income people. I am no fan of chav-like behaviour, but I couldn’t read past the rude comments about obesity, small houses, and flat screen televisions. (Anyway I have noted that you are rather noveau-riche like in your attitudes. I bet that your furniture is not from that great grandfather).

  • Newton Emerson

    I’m from a mixed background.
    My mum was born in a bucket, my dad is 14th in line to the throne.

  • Millie

    ‘I never thought of the 12th in these terms. I thought of it as being about individual liberty winning out over despotic autarchs – both religious (protestantism) and civil (parliamentary democracy)’

    That’s fair enough but surely the one celebration on one day of the year would suffice? What’s the excuse for having close to 3,000 parades amongst a population of 1.7m? And since these parades are confined to half of the 1.7m it would appear that what happened in 1690 and what the OO are celebrating are two completely different things.

    Making the 12th a ‘family day out’ can only happen if the parades are solely cultural and religious displays. They’re not, they’re entirely political. But if orange parades were stripped of their political content then NOBODY would turn up to them except a few old men and assorted churchgoers.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    I am loathe to criticise Newton for this one for a variety of reasons. Firstly whilst I found the article to be a little jarring in its aggressive style and descriptions of the people we are discussing it was not a description I could not actually recognise. Secondly I think that Newton’s writing style is deliberately designed to evoke response and emotion, its one of the joys of reading his output, and I would suspect it is his intent to use language in such a way. It may cause offence to the sensitive flowers among us but I believe he does us a service in raising those issues that are worthy of discussion in a provocative way that elicits debate. Thirdly and finally it wasn’t really about the OO it was about Empey’s strategic choice to focus on a diminishing(diminished?) group of UUP supporters as one of his first moves as leader. It was not an obvious play to me and whilst I think the intent was to nudge at the DUP’s right flank by creating a pressure in the DUP to bring in parading as a side negotiating issue I don’t for one minute think that Robinson is that daft, or manipulable so it seemed like a redundant play to me. That’s worthy of criticism in my book.

    As a side comment I heartily congratulate Newton for being willing to debate it here on Slugger. How many other columnists would do so? I will keep reading Newton’s stuff and aside from my immense disappointment at never appearing in a single addition of the Portadown News I still think he is a talented and creative writer.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Edition even! damn that spell check!

  • Newton Emerson

    I think the important thing to emerge from this thread was that in the course of a single afternoon ‘Ginfizz’ threatened me with hate-crime legislation, the Equality Commission and a libel action while also sneaking in a really creepy reference to somewhere I used to work.

    Truly, the DUP are Sinn Fein in a sash.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Newton they always were. The only compliant fools in the UUP were those who thought, and still think, the DUP is on the same team.

  • B. Grudgery

    Therese McKenna’s (who?) article must be a satire on the Women’s Coalition / Polly Toynbee school of middle class, ‘liberal’, patronising nonsense. Where it falls down is that Toynbee can write.
    It actually does read like it was taken from a 15 year old’s Live Journal, who is giddy with her My First Right On Politics Book and hormones.
    That just isn’t journalism. The Irish News must seriously be desperate for writers.
    Truly dreadful.
    Newton can write OK but personally I prefer his stuff which isn’t about NI politics. But it’s hard to disagree with that description of SOME marches, surely?

  • TAFKABO

    Describing the DUP as the shinners in a sash would probably gladden the hearts out of most of them, though they would never admit it.

  • Bored

    Well done Newt. Fantastically accurate, perceptive and honest piece. Ms. McKenna’s ‘rebuttal’ had me stranded somewhere between shocked disbelief and lying on the floor belly-laughing at her staggering lack of journalistic or any other apparent ability.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Ginfizz, what has Section 75 got to do with this? The Irish News isn’t a public authority.

    More importantly, why should we decide that Newton’s comments are wrong just because they might be illegal? You seem to be basing your moral code on the legal code, it should be the other way around.

  • Frjoefan

    Just had a great time reading through the postings on Newt’s rant on the Orange marchers and “supporters”. He’s quite right in most of what he says. These aren’t working class people downtrodden by society. They are given benefits that 99% of the rest of the planet would kill for.Basically they are fed through the efforts of others like myself who have worked all their lives and raised their children responsibly.In return they demand the right to walk wherever they want and when they want.I agree also that it is probably time for a bit more stick and less carrot.
    As regards the DUP, from the early sixties Paisley was stirring up trouble.It will be interesting now to see how he handles responsibility. Empey is a fool if he thinks talking to the OO will make him more acceptable to Unionist voters. He should have grasped the nettle and made it more acceptable to the many people out there who feel disenfranchised through not having an electable political party available.That’s why Emerson hasn’t voted UUP. I feel the same way about the SDLP, and I can’t vote for the Shinners.What’s left? As for the wannabe from the Irish News who replied to the article—Is that it? Is that your best shot?

  • TAFKABO

    I would like someone to show me evidence that a single person who is involved in the marches, be it as a participant or a follower, is dependeant on state benefits.

    If this kind of argument is allowed to continue unchallenged, before we know it, Slugger will be the offical talkboard of the Daly Mail.

  • Bored

    TAFKABO – I caught the tail-end of a parade on the Albertbridge Road last Friday night. If even five per cent of the drunken scum ‘following’ the parade are in gainful employment then in the great words of Ian Hislop – “I’m a banana”.

    Go down to any of the Magistrate’s Courts across the North in the immediate aftermath of ‘the twelfth’ and examine the Legal Aid application forms of the scum charged with disorderly behaviour, obstructing police, S.42 assault etc., etc., etc. – trust me, 99.999999% are on state benefits including in a sizeable number of cases, yes, you guessed it – DLA.

    Newt’s article is one of the finest distillations of truth written about the twelfth ‘celebrations’ in a long, long time. Irony is, as has already been pointed out – the substance of the Article concerned the utter political and intellectual bankruptcy of Empey.

  • buzz

    200 uda members squared up to each other in Sandy Row on Monday afternoon.

    They all must have taken the day off work !!!

  • Justy

    Most of Emerson’s writing is pish, his obvious class difference is revealing though, it holds that if it weren’t for the working class here there’d be no problems. Now that IS fcukin’ funny.

  • davidbrew

    Er, Duncan weren’t you once in the Orange Order?

    ( I’m assuming you haven’t affiliated to the Alabama Lodge coming to Tobermore for the Twelfth)

    I’m looking forward to Newt’s piece about the behaviour of the pride of Armagh and Tyrone in the streets around Croke park on Sunday. Pity some of the locals don’t seem to appreciate their oppressed fellow celts from the Black North coming down and pissing in their gardens, etc etc. tsk tsk- those working class oiks are so common, eh Newt- but not too much column mileage in pointing out the behaviour of some GAA fans can be just as deplorable.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    DB, Yes. I lost my belief in god and evntually decided that for that reason any purpose served by being in the OO was also lost. I explained this to fairdeal on another thread. Your not keeping up.

  • DCB

    But sure Duncan you don’t have to beleive in God not to like the dirty f…… 🙂

  • fair_deal

    Newt’s claims just don’t stand up for me about the Orange membership.

    In my own lodge there is a chartered accountant (and holds a number of company directorships), a solicitor, a finance house manager, a middle level manager in a engineering firm, an economist, and the manager of a charity of the remaining members only one member is unemployed. Also in our district returns the proportion of unemployed wasn’t above the proportion for the area. Someone on the dole would find the dues to a lodge diffciult to meet (although a high proportion of lodges waives dues when a existing member becomes unemployed).

  • Ginfizz

    Fair_Deal

    Good point. A friend of mine told me that being an Orangeman in Belfast costs him a fortune!

    As a member of a simlar (non-parading) organisation, I know what he’s talking about!!

  • Baluba

    As an Irish Republican, I have enjoyed reading this thread immensely.

    Keep going boys and girls, the entertainment’s top shelf!!!

    I just love it when you trun on each other – ohhh, the bitchiness!

  • davidbrew

    let’s see- Lodge membership-
    an accountant : check
    a solicitor: check
    a company manager:check
    complaints about the level of dues: check

    are you in Ireland’s premier Lodge- Aghanloo True Blues- as well, fair deal?

    oh BTW we also have binmen,a civil engineer, labourers, farmers, local government executives, and shop assistants, as well as some unemployed-a cross section of the community rather broader than golf clubs, and other organisations. You’d have thought that Newt might have welcomed such a classless organisation

    DSD- I’m sorry to hear the reason for your ceasing to be a member but it was obviously the principled and proper thing to do.

  • fair_deal

    Davidbrew

    My lodge sits in Belfast so not a member of Aghanloo, I note you didn’t tick the economist box so it looks like your lodge has some competition.

  • Macswiney

    Newton writes – Public yawns…

    Example – Newton’s ‘Sun’ style cartoon ‘column’ in todays Mirror. Because Newton (supposedly) has a go at everyone using Lowest Common Denominator journalism does that make him credible? I only ask because he sure aint funny… I wouldnt like to be stuck in a pub with Newton coming up to last orders…

  • Gonzo

    Orange Order as site of class revolution? I look forward to that article, DB.

    Don’t Catholics regard the Order as something that perceives them as second-class citizens?

  • davidbrew

    Well Gonzo we support liberte, we practise egalite, and we are a fraternite ( I’ve tried writng the acute accents on my computer screen in crayon for those who haven’t realised that’s yer actual French)- so that’s a start. Hardly an anarcho-syndicalist commune yet, though.

    We are also a Human Rights organisation in that we support the civil and religious liberties guaranteed by the constitution of 1688, though i appreciate that many of those human rights might not necessarily appear to be of day to day relevance to many citizens. But the definition of human rights has been contentious for centuries.

    And we are an ecumenical organisation, in that we are the largest and broadest gathering of protestant and Reformed laymen in Ireland, and probably the United Kingdom. But for Orangeism. we Presbyterians would be wreaking our revenge on the Episcopal Church for all its wrongs perpetrated on us in less enlightened times. Instead, by the cross-membership we minimised differences through the 19th centuries and subsequently.

    Will that do for starters?

  • Gonzo

    It’s all inward looking, what you’ve said; about internal relationships between different Protestant denominations. Surely for the Order to be truely classless (and an example of the liberty, equality and fraternity you boast of) it will have to resolve its differences with a significant section of people it appears to regard as second-class?

  • davidbrew

    well actually no. It is not a universalist organisation. It doesn’t need to reach out to any body else any more than the Liverpool Supporters’ Club has a duty to reach out to Manchester United supporters.
    That’s not to say that it might well benefit from such an exercise, and I am one of several Orangemen who have been to voluntary schools to explain what we believe in- I went to St Colman’s in Strabane for a very challenging and interesting discussion with their 6th Form Politics class a few years ago.

    But what is important is that being inward looking- if true- doesn’t mean seeking the excluding enjoyment of universal rights from others, and we don’t.